����� Ethnobotanical Leaflets 14: 274-305, 2010.

 

 

 

Ethnomedicinal Plant Resources of Mizoram, India: Implication of Traditional Knowledge in Health Care System

 

Prabhat Kumar Rai1 and H. Lalramnghinglova2

 

1Department of Forest Ecology, Biodiversity, and Environmental Sciences

School of Earth Sciences and Natural Resource Management

Mizoram University, Tanhril, Aizawl 796001, India

2Department of Environmental Sciences (FEBES)

School of Earth Sciences and Natural Resource Management

Mizoram University, Tanhril, Aizawl 796009, India

Corresponding author Email: prabhatrai24@gmail.com

 

Issued: March 01, 2010

 

 

Abstract

 

Socially, folk medicines, mainly based on plants, enjoy a respectable position today, especially in the developing countries, where modern health service is limited. Safe, effective and inexpensive indigenous remedies are gaining popularity among the people of both urban and rural society of India. A floristic survey of ethnomedicinal plants occurring in the tribal area of Mizoram was conducted over the period of last five years to assess the potentiality of plant resources for modern treatments. The information provided in this paper on medicinal uses of plants is based on the exhaustive interviews with local physicians practising indigenous system of medicine, village headmen, priests and various tribal folks/groups of Mizoram. In this paper, 159 ethnomedicianl plant species belonging to 134 genera and 56 families recorded from tropical forests, home gardens, roadsides and University Campus of Mizoram have been described. A categorical list of plant species along with their local name, scientific name, distribution status, habit, plant part/s used and the mode of administration reported for effective control of different diseases linked with humans.

 

Keywords: Etnomedicines; Tribals; Asteraceae; Ethnobotany; Hot spot.

 

Introduction

��� India has rich diversity of medicinal plants distributed in different geographical and environmental conditions. Tribal people in different parts of India, use their traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), received from their ancestors and contemporary society, in primary health care. Moreover, TEK of tribals is intimately linked with geography as well as ecological and cultural factors (Gesler 1992; Wiley 2002).

��� Ethnobotany, as an application of TEK, must have been the first knowledge acquired by man to satisfy his hunger, healing his wounds and curing various ailments (Kshirsagar and Singh 2001). Ethnobotany is defined as �the investigation and evaluation of the knowledge of all phases of life amongst the primitive societies and plant environment with respect to life, customs, beliefs and history of the tribal people� (Kshirsagar and Singh 2001). Ethnomedicine, as defined by Foster and Anderson (1978), is the totality of health, knowledge, values, beliefs, skills and practices of members of a society including all the clinical and nonclinical activities that relate to their health needs. Therefore, traditional/folk medicines have inextricable link with human society.

��� Plants have been used since ancient times for the treatment of various ailments. The traditional systems of medicine together with folklore systems continue to serve a large portion of the population, particularly in rural areas, in spite of the advent of the modern medicines. Out of about 15,000 species of higher plants in India, medicinal uses have been attributed to 1500 species (Handa 1998).

��� The traditional medical practices based on plants are an important part of the primary healthcare system in the developing world (Sheldon et al. 1997). According to the World Health Organization (WHO) as many as 80% of world�s population depends today on traditional medicine for their primary health care needs (Azaizeh et al. 2003). Safe, effective and inexpensive indigenous remedies are gaining popularity among the people of both the urban and rural areas, especially in India and China (Katewa et al. 2004).

�� Many tribal communities in India still practice use of their TEK to cure a variety of diseases and ailments (Jain and Dam 1979; Katewa et al. 2001; Kshirsagar and Singh 2001; Jagtap et al. 2006; Kala and Sajwan 2007; Sajem et al. 2008; Katewa 2009). There are a few surveys that reveal the practice of herbal medicine by the Korkus (Bhogaonkar and Devarkar 2002a, b; Padhye et al. 1991, 1992) and other tribes of Melghat area (Chaudhari and Hutke 2002). Review of literature revealed that few reports on the ethnopharmacognostic studies and the use of some plants for antisterility and urinogenital disorders are available (Bhogaonkar and Devarkar 2002a, b). Further, this plant-based TEK has become a recognized tool in search for new sources of drugs and nutraceuticals (Sharma and Mujumdar 2003). Henceforth, age-old knowledge of the plants is the basis for ethnobotanical research in India (Jagtap et al. 2006).

�� The tribes of the Himalayan region also have rich ethnomedicinal traditions for which a few literatures are available (Biswas 1956; Bennet 1983; Yonzone et al. 1984; Srivastava et al. 1987; Venu et al. 1990; Pandey 1991; Rai and Sharma 1994; Rai et al. 1998; Rai and Bhujel 1999, 2002; Das and Mandal 2003; Sajem et al. 2008). Plants and their parts are not only used as food and medicine but also used in various tribal rituals that are a part of their social and religious life (Etkin and Rose 1991; Rai 2009).

�� The aim of the present study was to evaluate some medicinal uses of the plants utilized by the different tribes of Mizoram (an Indo Burma hot spot region) and encourage preservation of their culture, traditional knowledge, conservation and sustainable utilization of the plant wealth occurring in the study area. In the present paper, we report some ethnomedicinal uses in the treatment of different ailments by the tribal peoples of Mizoram, India.

Study area

North East India (NE India) forms a significant portion of both the Himalaya and Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspots. Study area, Mizoram, the 23rd state of the Indian union, covers an area of 21,087 sq.km and is sandwiched between Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh (Figure 1). Mizoram is an important state of North-eastern (NE) India and also is a part of the 25 mega-biodiversity hotspots of the world. The forests in Mizoram are classified as Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests, Tropical Semi-Evergreen Forests and Sub-Tropical Hill Forests. Therefore, there are varying forest types Mizoram which are of immense values to mankind. However, these forests are exposed to various anthropogenic disturbances e.g. shifting cultivation, timber logging, extraction of fuel wood by poor/rural tribals, industrialization and in fact urbanization in some parts of state like Aizawl (Rai et al. 2009). In NE India, nearly 80 percent of the population depend on agriculture, where the economy is predominantly agrarian and rural, where tribal with subsistence living constitute about 27 percent of the population and where nearly 87 percent of the population live a deprived life in nearly 43,000 villages. In the NE Himalayas, subsistence largely depends upon resources derived from natural forests due to the free and easy access to these and simplicity in their use.

�� The vegetation of Mizoram, according to proposed classification, is tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forest in the lower altitude hills; sub-tropical to montane sub-tropical in the high hills. A major portion of Mizoram�s forests are therefore tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen (Rai 2009).

 


Fig. 1 represents the population of Mizoram and its high intensity in capital, Aizawl.

 

It is worth to mention that in Mizoram, the number of doctors and other medical staff is very low, in comparison to the total population (ratio doctors to total population was 1:3415) (Sharma et al. 2001). Moreover, the topography of Mizoram is responsible for the under developed communication system in the state. Thus, the people of the rural areas cannot avail of modern methods of treatment and they search for remedies from nature (Sharma et al. 2001).

 

Table 1. Population distribution in Mizoram and Aizawl.

Mizoram

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

Male

 

 

Female

Aizawl

 

Total

 

 

Male

 

 

Female

Total

689 756

358 978

330 778

478 465

248 343

230 122

Rural

371 810

194 414

177 396

218 744

114 630

104 114

Urban

317 946

164 564

153 382

259 721

133 713

126 008

Source: Sharma et al. (2001)

 

 

Methodology

�� The indigenous peoples belonging to different tribes were interviewed pertaining to mode of use and identification in local name as per Lalramnghinghlova (1998). Some of the �Red Listed species� documented in the study area are marked (IUCN, 2003). Although it was tedious one because the indigenous peoples are hesitant to transfer their indigenous knowledge acquired from their ancestors since the time immemorial. During last 5 years of study (2004-2008), we recorded these ethnomedicinal plants from different forest types of Mizoram, protected areas of Mizoram, home gardens, herbal gardens as well as Vanaspati Van. Assistance from other Institutes has been taken for rapid identification through the herbariums which were finally submitted to Department of Environmental Science, Mizoram University, India.

Results

�� A total of 159 ethnomedicinal plants belonging to 134 genera and 56 families which were recorded during the study have been listed (Table 2). Asteraceae family comprised maximum number of ethnomedicinal plants (16) followed by Euphorbiaceae (9), Zingiberaceae, Clusiaceae, and Rubiaceae (7 each). Scientific name, local name, Family, their habit, survival status in Mizoram, plant parts used are mentioned precisely in Table 2. Further, mode of utilization and their specific role in curing different diseases linked with human society is also discussed.

 

Table 2. Ethnomedicinal plants recorded from Mizoram (2004-2008).

S.No.

Scientific name

Local/Mizo name

Family

Habit

Status

Part Used

Mode of Utilization/Uses

1.

Abelmoschus moschatus Medicus.

Uichhuhlo

Malvaceae

Herb

F

Root, seed & leaf

Boiled roots & leaves is administered for syphilis; crushed root is applied externally on wounds/ulcers to suck the pus out; seeds are grinded to powder & the powder is taken with water for throat-pain twice daily

2.

Achyranthes bidentata L.

Vangvat-tur

Amaranthaceae

Herb

A

Leaf

The leaves are crushed and the juice is applied for the remedy of poisoned leach bite

3.

Achyranthes aspera L.

Buchhawl

Amaranthaceae

Herb

A

Whole plant

Taken for dysentery, coloc diseases, in boils & cirrhhosis

4.

Adhatoda zeylanica

Kawldai

Acanthaceae

Herb

F

Leaf

Leaf is antispasmodic, used in chronic bronchitis, anti-diarrhoea, expectorant, antirheumatism, insecticidal; root antiseptic, antiperiodic, antithelminthic, antigornorrhic; flowers and fruits are also antispasmodic

5.

Aeginetia indica L.

Sanghar-vaibel

Orobanchaceae

Ephemer-al

F

Root/ Rhizome

Juice of the rhizome is applied to mumps & inflammatory glands; Root in combination with other plants prescribed as the pills for fertility

6.

Aegle marmelos L.

Belthei

Rutaceae

Tree

EN

Pulp of fruit

Decoction of fruit is applied for the remedy of dysentery, stomachache & digestive problems

7.

Aeschynanthus sikkimensis Stapf. EFPN*

Bawltehlantai

Gesneriaceae

An epiphytic undershr-ub

F

Rootstock leaves & flowers

Fever & pain; Juice of crushed leaves is applied for inflammatory glands; infusion of flowers is taken against tonsilitis

8.

Ageratum conyzoides L.

Vailenhlo

Asteraceae

Herb

A

Root

The root is crushed with Callicarpa arborea (Hnah kiah) bark and rhizome of curcuma (Aieng) & the juice is drunk for the remedy of stomach cancer; stem and leaf as anti-diarrhoeal & also aid in clotting of blood

9.

Albizia procera (Roxb.) Bennth.

Kangtekpa

Mimosaceae

Small tree

F

Bark, Leaf & root

The poultice of leaves is applied to ulcers; The crushed bark is used for fish-poisoning ; important Agroforestry plant; the browm & durable heartwood is used as agricultural implements & as charcoal

10.

Albizia odoratissima (L.f.)

Kangteknu

Mimosaceae

Tree

F

Leaf

The leaf is boiled in ghee & is used in remedy for cough

11.

Bauhinia variegata Linn.

Vaube

Caesalpiniaceae

Tree

C

Bark & flower

Bark is carminative, tonic; astringent, antidiarrhoea, as blood purifier, as tonic, used in goitre; flower as laxative

12

Bergenia ciliata (Haw.) Sternb.

Pan-damdawi

Saxifragaceae

Herb

R

Leafs & roots

Leaf used in ear-ache; leaf & root as tonic, antiscorbent, in antidiarrhoea, fubrifuge, in piles & in urinary problems

13.

Begonia inflata Cl.*

Sekhupthur-hmul

Begoniaceae

Herb

R

Whole plant

The whole plant is being used in the form of infusion for patients troubled with kidney and urinary troubles

14.

Bidens pilosa (Lour.) Merr. & Sheriff

Vawkpuithal

Asteraceae

Herb

C: as weeds

Shoot, leaf & floral parts

Young shoot is antirheumatic; leaf in eye and ear complains; flower-antidiarrhoeal

15.

Bischofia javanica Bl.

Khuangthli

Bischofiaceae

Tree

F

Leaf, shoot & bark

Young leafs and buds are used in tonsillitis and throat pain; infusion of young shoot & leaves is taken orally for diphtheria & phryngitis; decoction of the bark is taken internally for cholera

16.

Blumea lanceolaria (Roxb.)*

Buarze

Asteraceae

Shrub

R

Leaves

Anti-cancer agent, pressed juice of leaves is applied on wounds & chronic ulcers, infusion of leaves is taken against dysentery

17.

Blumea laciniata (Roxb.)*

Khuanglawr

Asteraceae

Herb

F

Root & leaves

Cardiac tonic; paste from root is used against snake bite; simultaneously, leaves are crushed & the juice is applied externally on the bitten part`

18.

Callicarpa arborea Roxb.

Hnahkiah

Verbenaceae

Tree

A

Bark

The bark is crushed & the juice is drunk for the remedy of stomach pain, dysentery and vomiting, juice of the inner coat of bark is effectively used as haemostatics on cuts

19.

Callicarpa macrophylla Roxb.

 

Hnahkiahte JHR.

Verbenaceae

Small Tree

F

Leafs

Leaves are turned into paste & applied in fracture of bone

20.

Cammelia sinensis

Thingpui

Theaceae

Small tree

F

Leaf

Tea leaf boiled is used as astringent, stimulant & diuretic

21.

Canavalis ensiformis Baker

Fangra

Papilionaceae

Climber

C

Seed

The sliced seed is applied to snake bite to suck out the poison

22.

Carcinia paniculata

Vawmva

Clusiaceae

Tree

F

Seed

The seed is used against roundworm

23.

Carica papaya

Thingfanghma

Caricaceae

Small tree

 

Fruit & seeds

Juice of unripe fruit in large doses as ubolic; used to remove freckles and other blemishes from the skin, antihelminthic; ripe fruit useful in digestive problems; seed vermifuge

24.

Caryota urens

Tum

Arecaceae

Palm tree

F

Stem

The fleshy toddy is taken as food during famine

25.

Cassia alata Linn.

Tuihlo

Caesalpiniaceae

Shrub

F

Leaf

The leaves are bruised & applied to earthworm, ringworm infection as well as to other skin infections

26.

Catharanthus roseus Linn.

Kumtluang

Apocynaceae

Herb

F (introduced & naturalized)

Leaf, root & stem

The raw leaves are taken for the remedy of high blood pressure; Also leaves are anti-cancerous agent ; decoction of roots, stem & leaves is useful in diabetes, diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera

 

Caulokaempferia linearis (Wall.) Larsen*

Lung-ai-thing Lalram

Zingiberaceae

Herb

C

Leaf

Chakmas apply crushed leaves on the head in vertigo

27.

Cautleya gracillis (Smith) Dandy*

Pa-le

Zingiberaceae

Herb

 

R (cultivated)

Rhizome

Infusion of rhizome is taken for flatulence, colic & hepatomegaly , the rhizome is eaten raw to relieve colic & hotness in the stomach & also used cough

28.

Centella asiatica (L.) Urb.

Lambak/Hnahbial

Apiaceae

Herb

C

Leaf

Popularly used as memory stimulator. The leaves are boiled & the water is taken for the remedy of asthma and eye problems ; used also in hypertension

29

Chassalia ophioxyloides (Wall.) Craib.

Khummurmu

Rubiaceae

Roots

F

Roots

The root paste applied externally to chronic ulcers, tumours & sores

30.

Chromolaena odorata Linn.

Tlangsam

Asteraceae

Shrub

A

Leaf

Juice of crushed leaves applied externally as haemostatic agent

31.

Chukrasia tabularis A. Juss.

Zawngtei

Meliaceae

Tree

F

Root & seed-coat

Raw roots are taken for the remedy of stomach pain; infusion of seed-coat taken internally or a small portion is eaten raw for diarrhoea and dysentery

32.

Chonemorpha fragrans (Moon.) Alston

Phungthe ikelki

Apocynaceae

Climber

F

Roots

In Ethnogynaecology: Infusion of roots taken internally against retained placenta @ 100 ml twice daily

33.

Cinnamomum obtusifolia (Buch-Ham.) Sweet

Thakthingsuak

Lauraceae

Tree

F

Bark

Bark is used in dyspepsia and liver complaints

34.

Cinnamomum- tamala (Buch-Ham.) Sweet

Tejpatta

Lauraceae

Tree

F

Leaf & bark

Leaf is used as stimulant, carminative, antirheumatic, antidiarrhoeal; bark is used in treating gonorrhoea

35.

Cinnamomum verum (Buch-Ham.) Sweet

Thakthing

Lauraceae

Tree

F

Bark & leaf

Bark is carminative, antispasmodic, haemostatic, astringent, antiseptic; leaf antidiabetic

36.

Dalbergia pinnata (Lour.)*

Tengterehrui

Fabaceae

Tree

VR

Root-bark

Stomach problems, hepatitis & toothache

37.

Datura suaveolens Hamb. & Bruph

Tawtawrawt par

Solanaceae

Shrub: Cultivated especially in home garden

F

Leaf

Leaves are dried & smoked as tobacco for chest complaints, asthma while roasted leaf is applied on breast lump/stony hard breast

38.

Dendrocnida sinuate

Thakpui

Urticaceae

Shrub

A

Root

The root is boiled along with crabs & the water is taken for the remedy of jaundice

39.

Dendrobium ariaeflorum*

Naubanhlosen

Orchidaceae

Shrub/Or-chid

R

Stem

Used as narcotic

40;41;42

Desmos chinensis (Lour.)* Desmos dumosus* & Desmos dumosus (Roxb.) Safford. *(Used in isolation & in combination)

Zunin -damdawi

Annonaceae

Scandent scrub

C

Root & leaf

Combination of decoction of the roots is effectively used against painful urination. The medicine is taken � cup daily

43.

Desmos longiflorus (Roxb.) Safford*

Chi-ri-pi

Annonaceae

Small tree

R

Root & leaf

Ii constitutes one ingredient for the treatment of chronic ulcer; decoction of leaves used for asthama

44.

Desmodium gyroides DC.

Kerangkana

Fabaceae

Shrub

F

Root

Root paste in combination is used as an effective remedy against inflammatory glands.

45.

Desmodium triflorum (Linn.) DC.

Bawngkek-hlo Lalram

Fabaceae

Herb

F

Whole plant

The plants are boiled & the water is taken for kidney trouble & urinal problems; juice of fresh leaves is applied on wounds

46.

Dillenia indica L.

Kawrthindeng

Dilleniaceae

Tree

F

Fruit & bark

The fruit is boiled & the water is taken for the remedy of jaundice; infusion of bark taken @ 50 ml twice daily for diarrhoea & dysentery

47.

Dillenia pentagyna Roxb.

Kaihzawl

Dilleniaceae

Tree

F

Bark & wood

Used as anticancer & antiulcer agent; decoction of the bark is taken orally for diabetes, paste of bark is applied externally on rheumatic pains

48.

Elaeagnus pyriformis Hook. F.

Ramsarzuk

 

Elaeagnaceae

Shrub

R

Root

The paste from root is dipped in water & drunk in the problem of appendicitis

49.

Elsholtzia blanda Benth

Nauhri

Lamiaceae

Shrub

R

Aerial part

Infusion of aerial part of plant is used for children�s disease called �Nauhri�, a combination of fever, cholera, skin diseases & inflammation; poultice of leaves is also used for inflammatory glands

50.

Elsholtzia ciliata (Thunb.) Hyland

Ram-lengser* Lalram

Lamiaceae

Herb

C

Whole plant

Juice of leaves is used as diuretic, cough & cold

51.

Embelia subcoriaceae (Cl.) Mez.

Tling

Elaeagnaceae

Climber

F

Leaves

Decoction of leaves is used for bathing in the treatment of small pox & also used for bathing woman�s injury after child birth

52.

Emblica officinalis L.

Sunhlu

Euphorbiaceae

Tree

A

Fruit

The raw fruit is taken for the remedy of stomach problem

53.

Entada pursaetha DC.

Kawi

Mimosaceae

Climber

F

Seed

The seeds are soaked in water & the water is dropped into the nostrils against leech

54.

Ervatamia coronaria

Pararsi

Apocynaceae

Shrub

F

Root, leaf & bark

The root provides comfort in toothache; root & bark used as antidote for scorpion sting; milky juice is used for disease of eyes

55.

Eryngium foetidum Linn.

Bahkhawr

Apiaceae

Herb

F

Root

Root used in stomachache

56.

Erythrian stricta Roxb.

Fartuahpui

Leguminoseae

��������������������������

Tree

F

Bark

The bark is use as astringent and antidote to snake bite; decoction of coat of inner bark is taken orally for stomach ulcer

57.

Eucalyptus globules Labill

Eucalyptus

Myrtaceae

Tree

C

Leaves

Infusion of leaves is taken against pneumonia; Charcoal is grinded to powder or made into paste & taken for stomach ulcer; Decoction of leaves is used for diabetes

58.

Eupatorium adenophorum Spreng.

Hlothar

Asteraceae

Herb

F

Leaves

Juice of crushed leaves applied to stop bleeding from the nose

59.

Eupatorium cannabinum L.

Hlothar

Asteraceae

Herb

A

Leaves

Juice of crushed leaves applied to stop bleeding from the nose as haemostatics

60.

Euphorbia royleana Boiss

Chawng

Euphorbiaceae

Shrub

VF

Pith & leaf

Pith & unripe fruit of papaya is cooked with chicken & the water is taken against diseases of the liver & chronic fever; milky juice is used externally for ring worm, rheumatism, boils, warts, etc.; Juice of heated leaves is applied to earache

61.

Ficus bengalensis L.

Hmawng

Moraceae

Tree

F

Latex, Bark, Seed, leaf & root

The milky juice is applied externally for pains in rheumatism, lumbago. Infusion of bark is used as tonic, astringent, used in dysentery, diarrhoea & diabetes. Seed is used for cooling tonic, leaves are applied as poultice to abscesses and root fibre in gonorrhea

62.

Ficus prostate Buch-Ham.

Theitit

Moraceae

Epiphyte

F

Root

The root is crushed and the juice is applied for the remedy against poisoned snake bites

63.

Ficus religosa L.

Hmawnghnahzum

Moraceae

Tree

C

Bark, leaf

Astringent, anti-gonorrhoeic, antidysentric, febrifuge, scabies, piles; leaf & young shoots are used as purgative & in skin diseases

64.

Ficus semicordata Buch-Ham. Var. conglomerata (Roxb.)*

Thenpui

Moraceae

Small tree

C

Bark & leaf

Liver ailment

65.

Flemingia macrophylla (willd.) Prain*

Tuisithing Lalram*

Fabaceae

Shrub

R

Roots

Decoction of root is used as external application in swellings & pain in the body [N fixer & prevent soil conservation]

66.

Garcinia cowa Roxb.

Chengkek

Clusiaceae

Tree

C

Leaf & bark

Bark & bark are antidiarrhoeal, antileprotic & also used in ulcer

67.

Garcinia lancaeafolia Roxb. *

Pelhte

Clusiaceae

Tree

R

Leaf & fruit

Stomachache

68.

Garcinia pedunculata G.*

Theipumlian

Clusiaceae

Tree

R

Fruits

Acidic pericarp extract solution is mixed with sugar & is taken orally against dysentery & diarrhoea

69.

Gardenia coronaria Ham.*

Rul-hluah* Lalran

Rubiaceae

Tree

R

Root & leaf

The infusion of roots & leaves are taken orally against snake bite @ 50 ml. (twice daily)

70.

Garcinia sopsopia Ham.*

Thensaker

Clusiaceae

Tree

R

Branches

Snake-bite

71.

Giardinia palmata

Kangthai

Urticaceae

Tree

A

Root

The root is crushed & the juice is taken against food allergy e.g. pork

72.

Gmelina arborea Roxb.*

Thlanvawng

Verbenaceae

Tree

F

Flowers& fruit

Decoction of flowers is orally used for hypertension; Roasted fruit is applied externally in itches

73.

Gynocardia odorata R.Br.

Saithei

Flacourtiaceae

Tree

R

Seed-oil

The fruits are crushed & the seeds are extracted & used as lotion in leprosy & other skin diseases

74.

Hedychium spicatum Koenig.

Kelhnamtur

Zingiberaceae

Herb

F

Rhizome

The rhizome is used in stomachache, carminative, tonic, stimulant, expectorant, liver problem, vomiting, inflammatory & pains; also used in snakebite

75.

Hedychium coronarium Koenig.

Ai-lalnu

Zingiberaceae

Herb

R (cultivated in home gardens)

Rhizome

Base of stem is used for swellings & rhizome is used as febrifuge & antirheumatic

76.

Hedyotes scandens Roxb.

Laikingtuibur

Rubiaceae

Climber

C

Whole plant

The whole plant is boiled and the water is taken for the remedy against swelling, malaria & kidney problem

77.

Helianthus annus L.

Nihawipar

Asteraceae

Herb

F

Seed

Seed-diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, stomachache, in bronchitis and in laryngeal & pulmonary infections.

78.

Imperata cylindrica Linn.

Di

Poaceae

Grass

A

Root

Juice of roots is used for the removal or expelling of the intestinal worms

79.

Inula cappa DC.

Buarthau

Asteraceae

Shrub

F

Leaf

The leaves are crushed with those of Plantago asiatica & Lobelia angulata & the juice is taken orally for diabetes & jaundice

80.

Ixora nigricans R.Br.

Thainurual

Rubiaceae

Shrub/small tree

R

Leaf

Infusion of the leaves is prescribed for dysentery & colic problems

81.

Jasminum nervosum Lour.*

Hrurkha

Oleaceae

Shrub

A

Leaf

Stomachache & fever

82.

Jatropa curcas

Kangdamdawi

Euphorbiaceae

 

 

 

Nut is purgative; plant in scabies, eczema, in ring worm; twig is used as tooth brush in swollen gums

83.

Juglans regia

Khawkherh

Juglandaceae

Tree

F

Bark, leaf and fruit

Bark and leafs are antihelminthic; leaf astringent, tonic; fruit is antirheumatic

84.

Justicia adhatoda L.

Kawldai

Acanthaceae

Shrub

F

Leaf

The leaves are boiled and the water is taken internally @20 ml twice daily for 3 days against malaria fever. Leaf paste is applied on whole body for 24 hrs. &the patient takes bath on the 3rd day. Aforesaid treatment is used to cure chronic malaria also

85.

Justicia zeylanica Medicus. ADPR 503*

Kawldai

Acanthaceae

Shrub

F

Leaf

Juice of crushed leaves is applied externally on cuts & wounds as haemostatics

86.

Kalanchoe pinnata (Lamk.) Pers.

Zihor

Crassulaceae

Herb

R (introduced & naturalized)

Leaf

Scorched leaf to be applied on forehead in vertigo

87.

Laggera crispata (Vahl.) Hep. & Wd.*

Runhthung

Asteraceae

Herb

C

Leaf

Leafs are crushed & applied on sores

88.

Lagerstroemia speciosa (Linn.) Pers.

Chawnpui/Thlado

Lythraceae

Tree

F

Root, Bark

Decoction of root is taken for jaundice and infusion of bark is taken for diarrhoea and dysentery

89.

Lannea coromandelica (Houtt.) Merr.*

Tawitawsuak

Anacardiaceae

Tree

C

Bark, leaf

Bark- astringent, in ulcers and sore; leaf used in swellings, sprains & pain of the body

90.

Lantana camara Linn.

Hlingpangpar

Verbenaceae

Shrub

A

Leaves

Antirheumatic, antimalarial, in tetanus, diaphoretic, carminative & antispasmodic

91.

Lindernia ruelloides Pennell*

Thasuih

Scrophulariaceae

Herb

F

Whole plant

Externally used for Rheumatism, sciatica, skin worms, wounds & also internally for eye problems

92.

Litsea cubeca Roxb.

Sernam

Lauraceae

Tree

F

Fruit

Fruit is antiparalytic, anticephalagic, antihysteric, carminative, in dizziness & in loss of memory

93.

Mallotus roxburghianus Muell.-Arg.*

Zawngtenawhlung

Euphorbiaceae

Small tree

A

Twigs

In jaundice and hepatomegaly- twigs are boiled and the soup is taken daily/drunk 1 cup (100ml) twice daily

94.

Mallotus leucocarpus (Kurz) Airy Shaw*

Sukiah

Euphorbiaceae

Small tree

F

Root

Used in colic problems

95.

Melocalamus compactiflorus

Sairil

Poaceae

Climber

F

Stem

Juice of stem is taken against as influenza

96.

Mallotus philippensis Muell.-Arg.

Bari khei

Euphorbiaceae

Tree

F

Stem bark

Gland and hair of fruit are antihelminthic, styptic, used in scabies, also in ring-worm & herpes

97.

Melastoma malabathricum

Builukham

Melastomataceae

Tree

F

Bark, leaf & flower

Bark is used as wound healer; leaf as antidiarrhoeal, antiseptic; leaf & flower top astringent & antileucorrhoeic

98.

Melia azedarach Linn.

Nim-suak

Meliaceae

Tree

Introduce-d & naturalize-d

Leaf

Decoction of leaves is taken orally against fever & hypertension

99.

Melocanna baccifera Roxb.

Mautak

Poaceae

Bamboo

A

Stem

The outer skin is scraped off & applied on cuts as haemostatics.

100.

Merremia umbellata

Vawktesentil

Convolvulaceae

Tree

C

Leaf

Poultice of leaves is applied on burns & sores

101.

Mesua ferrea Linn.

Herhse

Clusiaceae

Tree

F

Flower, bark & leaf

Flower is used as astringent, stomachache. Flowers and leaves are also used against snakebite & scorpion sting

102.

Mikania micrantha Kunth. WI

Japan-hlo

Asteraceae

Climber

A

Leaf

The leaf juice is a good haemostatic. The leaves boiled with that Vitex penduncularis is taken against fever. Also the leaf juice is good for dysentery

103.

Ocimum tenuiflorum Linn.

Runhmui-dum

Lamiaceae

Shrub

R; Cultivated in home gardens; often cultivated by chakma tribes

Whole plant

The plant is boiled & the steam is inhaled against hepatitis; infusion of the plant is used in cough, bronchitis, gastric disorders & as mosquito repellant

104.

Oroxylum indicum Linn.

Archangkawn

Bignoniaceae

Small tree

C

Root-bark, bark & seed

Root bark is used as tonic, antidiarrhoeal; bark antirheumatic; tender fruit is carminative, used in stomachache; seed purgative; stem is antidote for scorpion sting

105.

Osbeckia sikkimensis Craib.

Builukhampa

Melastomataceae

Shrub

F

Root

Steamed roots & extracted solution is taken internally for renal disorder & genitor-urinary problems; decoction of roots is taken for kidney trouble & stomachache

106.

Paedaria foetida Linn.

Vawihuihhrui

Rubiaceae

Climber

C

Root & leaf

Plant-antirheumatic; root and leaf as tonic; root in piles, pain in chest and liver; leaf carminative, astringent, diuretic, in herpes

107.

Pajenela longifolia (Wall.)K. Schum.*

Ram-archangkawm

Bignoniaceae

Tree

R

Leaf & stem

Leaf & stem paste used in fracture

108.

Parbarium hookerii Pierre*

Theikelkibawr

Apocynaceae

Climber

F

Root

Decoction of roots taken as tea against placental disorders

109

Parkia timoriana Merr.

Zawngtah

Mimosaceae

Tree

A

Bark twig & pods

Decoction of bark & twigs is taken orally against diarrhoea & dysentery; green skin of the pods is turned into paste & applied on cuts & wounds; Chakmas use hot infusion of scraped pods for diarrhoea & dysentery

110

Passiflora nepalensis

Nauawimu

Pasifloraceae

Climber

A

Root

The root is boiled & the water is taken to cure malaria

111

Pathos cathcartii

Lehpong

Araceae

Epiphyte

F

Stem

Used in fracture of bone

112

Pentapetes phoenicea Linn.

Parsenbial

Sterculiaceae

Herb

VR

Leaf

The leaves are boiled & the water is taken for inflammatory glands, cough & cold; Juice of leaves is applied on inflammatory glands

113

Phyllanthus fraternus Webster.

Mitthi sunhlu

Euphorbiaceae

Herb

F

Whole plant

Infusion of plant @ 50 ml twice daily for diabetes; juice of whole plant is used for liver problems & jaundice; fruits & the plant parts are useful in thirst, bronchitis, leprosy, anaemia, urinary discharges, anuria & asthma

114

Rauvolfia Serpentina Benth.

Rullturzung

Apocyanaceae

Herb

R( cultivated & naturalize-d at some places)

Root

Used in hypertension & stomach problems

115

Ricinus communis Linn.

Mutih

Euphorbiaceae

Shrub or small tree

R

Leaf & stalk

Young leaves after heating are used in ulcer, sciatica & paralysis while crushed leaves are applied as bandage against urinary problems

116

Rhus acuminate Murr.

Chhimhruk

Anacardiaceae

Herb

F

 

Leaf used in nausea; fruit-in colic problems; leaf excrescentas & in diarrhoea

117

Rhaphidophora decursiva Roxb.

Makhal

Araceae

Epiphyte

A

Stem &leaves

Used in fracture of bone after crushing the plant parts into paste

118

Raphidophora hookeri Schott.*

Thiallawn

Araceae

 

R

Stem

Helpful in easy labour

119

Rubia cordifoloia L.

Rawngsen

Rubiaceae

Climber/creeping herb

R

Root

Root is boiled & taken orally for kidney trouble & liver ailments; used in gonorrhoea, syphilis & renal infections

120

Saraca asoca Roxb.

Mualhawih

Caesalpiniaceae

Tree

EN/VU

Bark

In ethnogynaecology: Bark is astringent, used in uterine inflation, in gonorrhoea & scorpion sting

121

Schima wallichii (DC.) Korthals

Khiang

Theaceae

Tree

A

Fruit, leaf & bark

Decoction of fruit is used for snake bite and insect bite; bark-rubefacient, antihelminthic, antigonorrhoeic; leaf-carminative

122

Scoparia dulcis Medic.

Perhpawng-chaw/Hlothlum

Scrophulariaceae

Herb

C

Whole plant

The whole plant is crushed and the juice is taken for the remedy of kidney stone, jaundice & genitor-urinary troubles

123

Securinega virosa Roxb.

Saisiak

Euphorbiaceae

Shrub

F

Leaf

The leaves are boiled & the water is taken for bathing children suffering from scabies and measles

124

Semecarpus anacardium Linn.

Vawmbal-pui

Anacardiaceae

Tree

F

Fruit/ nut

Juice of fruit (nut) is applied externally on sprain & in rheumatism

125

Senecio scandens Buch.-Ham.

Sai-ek-hlo

Asteraceae

Climber

R

Leaf/aerial parts

Boiled leaves/aerial parts is used for ulcerated cancer/ulcers

126

Sida acuta Burm. F.

Khingkhih

Malvaceae

Shrub

VF

Root

Crushed root applied on boils to suck out the pus. Also used in nervous, urinary & stomach/gastric diseases

127

Smilax pervifolia Roxb.

Kaiha

Liliaceae

Climber

A

Root

The root is grounded with old molasses or with coagulated lows milk mixed with water and taken orally for blood purification

128

Smilax glabra Roxb.

Tluang-ngil

Liliaceae

Climber

A

Root

Taken in uterine and stomach infection

129

Solanum torvum Linn.

Tawkpui

Solanaceae

Shrub

C

Seed

The crushed seed is applied to toothache and tooth decay

130

Solanum khasianum Cl. Var. chatterjeanum*

Athlo

Solanaceae

Shrub

R

Fruit/seeds

Used to expel tooth worms from the mouth

131

Solanum nigrum Linn.*

Anhling

Solanaceae

Herb

F

Whole plant

Infusion of the plant is prescribed for liver problem & dropsy

132

Sonchus wightianus DC.

Gangmula

Asteraceae

Herb

C

Root

In combination used as cardiac tonic

133

Spondias pinnata Linn.

 

Tawitaw

Anacardiaceae

Tree

F

Bark

The bark is refrigerant, used in dysentery and after mixing with water used in both auricular and muscular rheumatism

134

Terminalia bellirica Roxb.

Thingvandawt

Combretaceae

Tree

F

Fruit, bark & kernel

The fruit is taken for stomach problem, antidropsical, antileprotic, anti-inflammatory, antidiarrhoeal, antibillious, antiasthmatic, anticephalagic, tonic in bronchitis, also in sore throat, & in diseases of eye, nose, piles; Bark-diuretic, used in anaemia, leucoderma; kernel-narcotic & aphrodisiac

135

Terminalia chebula Retz.

Reraw

Combretaceae

Tree

F

Fruit & bark

The fruit is taken against stomach problem, purgative, febrifuge, antiasthmatic, antidysentery, enriches blood, antiparalytic, in piles, cold, opthalmia, sore throat, dental caries, bleeding & ulceration of gums, burns etc.; bark is diuretic & cardiotonic

136

Tetracera sarmentosa Linn.*

Hruithingdeng

Dilleniaceae

Tree

F

Bark

Decoction of bark taken orally for stomachache

137

Tetrameles nudiflora R.Br.*

Thingdawl

Tetramelaceae

Tree

C

Bark/leaf

Juice of bark/leaves dropped into orifice against ottorea

138

Thunbergia grandiflora Roxb.

Zawngafian

Acanthaceae

Climber

R

Leaf

Juice of the leaves is used for diabetes, eye diseases & as an antiseptic in cuts & wounds

139

Tinospora cordifolia (DC.) Miers. Ex. Hook.

Theisawntlung

Menispermaceae

Shrub/climber

R

Stem, root & fruit

Stem used in stomachache, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, emetic, antidiabetic, aphrodisiac, antiperiodic, in skin diseases, piles, anaemia; root-emetic, antileprotic; fruit-tonic, antirheumatic; stem & fruit together in jaundice

140

Toona ciliate Roem.

Teipui

Meliaceae

Tree

C

Bark & flower

Bark-astringent, tonic, antiperiodic, antidysenteric, in ulcers; flower-emmenagogue

142

Trevetia palmate Roxb.*

Kawhtebel

Araliaceae

Small tree

C

Leaf/root

The leaf is crushed and the juice is taken as an effective remedy for colic, stomachache and high blood pressure

143

Uncaria sessilifructus Roxb.

Ralsamkuai-ziksen

Rubiaceae

Climber

F

Leaf & root

Young leafs are boiled and taken orally against diphtheria; roots are boiled & the water is taken against excess bleeding.

144

Urena lobata Linn.

Sehnap

Malvaceae

Shrub

F

Root & leaf

Crushed root mixed with water as aphrodisiac; juice of leaves is used against rheumatism

145

Veronia albicans DC.

Dawn-do-u-pun

Asteraceae

Herb

C

Leaf

Infusion of leaves is warmed & then dropped into ear against ear-ache/ottorhoea

146

Vitex peduncularis* Wall. ex. Schauer.

Thingkhawilu

Verbenaceae

Tree

F

Bark

The bark is boiled and the water is drunk in case of typhoid & malarial fever

147

Vitis bifurcata*

Hruiveikual

Vitaceae

Climber

C

Root

Crushed roots used to produce mucous substance which is applied externally on swellings & sciatica

148

Trapa natans var. bispinosa (Roxb.) Makino

Not Known

Trapaceae

Aquatic/semiaquatic

CR/VU

Root

A part of nutritious diet

149.

Trevetia palmate Roxb.*

Kawhtebel

Araliaceae

Small tree

C

Leaf/root

The leaf is crushed and the juice is taken as an effective remedy for colic, stomachache and high blood pressure

150.

Uncaria sessilifructus Roxb.

Ralsamkuai-ziksen

Rubiaceae

Climber

F

Leaf & root

Young leafs are boiled and taken orally against diphtheria; roots are boiled & the water is taken against excess bleeding.

151

Urena lobata Linn.

Sehnap

Malvaceae

Shrub

F

Root & leaf

Crushed root mixed with water as aphrodisiac; juice of leaves is used against rheumatism

152

Veronia albicans DC.

Dawn-do-u-pun

Asteraceae

Herb

C

Leaf

Infusion of leaves is warmed & then dropped into ear against ear-ache/ottorhoea

153

Vitex peduncularis* Wall. ex. Schauer.

Thingkhawilu

Verbenaceae

Tree

F

Bark

The bark is boiled and the water is drunk in case of typhoid & malarial fever

154.

Vitis bifurcata*

Hruiveikual

Vitaceae

Climber

C

Root

Crushed roots used to produce mucous substance which is applied externally on swellings & sciatica

155

Woodfordia fructicosa Kurz.

Ainawn

Lythraceae

Shrub

R

Flower

The powdered flower is used externally on sores & ulcers

156

Xylia xylocarpa

Thinguk

Mimosaceae

Tree

F

Bark & seed

Decoction of bark is used in ulcer, gonorrhoea and diarrhoea; seed oil is antirheumatic, used also in piles, bark and seed oil are antileprotic

157

Zanthoxylum armatum DC.

Arhrikreh

Rutaceae

Small tree

R

Leaf, flower & fruit

The leaves are used towards off fouls and lice; fruit as appetizer, anticephalgic, antiasthmatic, antihelminthic, in leucoderma, eye & ear diseases, piles; flower used as antidote for snake bite

158

Zingiber officinale Rosc.

Sawhthing

Zingiberaceae

Herb

Cultivated on large scale as cash crop

Rhizome & flower

Extract i.e. ginger oil is used in cough & bronchitis; rhizome is roasted & eaten against throat pain, applied as condiment; flowering bunches are sold in local market as vegetable

159

Zingiber purpureum Rosc.

Pale

Zingiberaceae

Herb

VU: Cultivate-d

Rhizome

Chakmas tribe use rhizome to cure stomachache & diarrhoea

 

R: rare; F: frequent; VF: frequent; VR: very rare; A: abundant; C: common; VU:

Vulnerable; EN: Endangered; CR: Critically endangered

*Those marked by asterisk represent the plants which were recorded for the first time.

 

 

Discussion

Traditional knowledge of herbal remedy to treat human diseases is fast declining in many parts of the world, including India. Even today, tribals and certain local communities in India still practice herbal medicine to cure a variety of diseases and disorders. They collect and preserve locally available, wild and cultivated plant species.

�� Bio-resources of Mizoram comprise a great share of natural resources. The agroecosystems as well as natural ecosystems harbour immense genetic potential (Lalramnghinghlova 1999b; 1999c; 2002). Lalramnghinghlova and Jha (1998) described more than 200 ethnomedicinal plants for their efficiency to cure diseases like bleeding from nose, fever, malarial fever, asthma, tuberculosis, calculi, stones in kidney, gall-bladder, urinary troubles, hypertension, diabetes, stomachache, stomach ulcer, dysentery, diarrhoea, jaundice, hepatomegaly, fracture of bone, gyneic disorder and snake bite. They added that over 60% people living in the interior parts of the state depends upon herbal medicine. Further, Lalramnghinghlova and Jha (1997) identified and hand in hand characterized the ethnomedicinal plants based on IUCN threat categories. Also, Lalramnghinghlova and Jha (1999) during their extensive survey of ethnomedicinal plants provided new records of aforesaid which has not been reported earlier in forests of Mizoram. Lalramnghinghlova (1999) marked that although more works have been undertaken on ethnobotany, very less focus has been given to ethnozoology which is very necessary in order to address ethnobiology in its totality.

Conclusions

�� Recent decades have seen significant changes occurring within several aspects of ethnomedicine as a result of environmental degradation and tremendous changes in modern, social, and economic systems. Due to aforesaid factors, acting in concert, the traditional knowledge system in India is fast eroding. Hence, there is an urgent need to record all ethnobotanical information among the diverse ethnic communities before the traditional culture is completely lost. Often, tribals are exploited by the modern societies and they are forbidden to use the forest resources with which their lives are strongly interwoven. Policy makers should secure the TEK of tribal people, whose socio-economic life is interwoven with the forests from where they derive all their material requirements, including their healthcare needs and foodstuffs. Further, we recommend that after survey, mapping and identification we have to have some collaborative and financial cooperation extended from governmental and scientific institutions to prepare a database of medicinal plants from Mizoram and also to extract the bioactive compounds responsible to treat the ailments. The claims emanating from the present survey need to be subjected to pharmaco-chemical studies in order to explore their true potential as it is very difficult to judge the effectiveness of folk medicine. The ethnomedicinal plants, particularly threatened ones, should be cultivated in herbal gardens, agroforestry systems and home gardens to encourage their sustainable utilization and hence conservation.

Acknowledgements

��� The authors are thankful to University Grants Commission (UGC) and Department of Science and Technology, Government of Mizoram for financial assistance to HLR. Also, HLR is thankful to Environment and Forest Department, Government of Mizoram and Professor L.K. Jha for providing all sort of cooperation during his work as Forest Botanist. The authors also extend their regard to Professor A.N. Rai, Vice Chancellor, Mizoram University, for his kind co-operation and support.

 

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